My New Book Living More Than OK

My New Book Living More Than OK
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Thursday, June 24, 2010

Power In Poetry

Last week I attended a workshop at El Rocio Retreat Center in Mission Texas entitled “Psychology and Poetry: The Road to Creative Understanding” . The presenter was Dr. Ben Wilson, a retired Professor from Sul Ross University in Texas. I bought a copy of his poetry book, “Dithyrambic Musings of Benson O ‘Lotte”.

I wanted to see how poetry could be used in helping people work through issues in their lives. I was dreading the activity part as I figured we would need to write a poem and I have never considered myself a poet. It is the same way I look at art. I appreciate art talent and art museums but the max I can do with art is poorly drawn stick figures.

I went into the session with an attitude of what I could learn. Much of the time was spent reading poems on a variety of topics, forgiveness, anger, love, grief. Then we would discuss the poems discerning their meaning from our point of views. Digging into the meaning and hearing the stories behind the poems revealed a power of the poem to bring out emotion from victims of abuse, those going through loss of a loved one, or the anxiety of making a new move on the life journey. Poetry allows for creating a picture in the mind revealing the depths of emotions a person is dealing with. The therapist can use poetry to help a person get in touch with the emotions they are going through. Then solutions and new plans can develop through that. OF course a person does not need to be in therapy to make use of the power of poetry. From the experience I could see how people who enjoy poetry can use it as a personal tool to keep in touch withtheir emotions.

The last part of the session was our having to write a poem of something we were facing in our life. I did the poem below which I titled “Getting It Done”. I felt it was very simplistic yet is was encouraging to hear that those in the group appreciated it.

Getting It Done

For years the dream has been in my mind.
The Problem is getting it done.
Through the fog I see the dim vision.
The Problem is getting it done.
There is even passion in the heart for it.
The Problem is getting it done.
There is work, staying healthy,
Family duties, but more honestly fear.
The Problem is getting it done.

The poem relates to the fact that I was thinking of a couple ideas and things I have been wanting to do. Good ideas that deep inside I have a passion to do that I keep postponing. They are dreams that start to fade as the busyness of life overtakes my time. Many of the busy things that stop us from following up and completing our dreams -- projects are good things like our exercise schedule or family time. But they can push the passionate dream items further away into a foggy bog. But as I was writing the poem I thought is it really the duties and tasks in life that keep from working on our dreams. Those things accumulate due to a sense of fear of the dream. Fear of failure, Fear of what others may think. Overcoming the fear is making the choice to press on by turning that dream into a workable goal. Then fit components of the goal into a time schedule to accomplish that dream and make it a reality. So I am presently working on a timeline to complete the one dream I have in my mind.

An English Professor mentioned once to me that to be a good poet you need to read poetry so you may want to pick up a book of poetry from your local library. Or here are a few poetry websites you can check out to appreciate poetry more:

Read a poem and write out the emotions you see in it and what the meaning of the poem is to you. Then think over an important issue in your life and try to write a poem about it.

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